labor induction

Pregnancies don’t always go as planned. There are instances when it is necessary to expedite the birthing process, and it is often done via labor induction. When a woman fails to go into labor, her doctor may induce it.

When will a doctor induce labor?

A doctor may choose to induce a woman’s labor for multiple reasons. One of the most common causes of labor induction is when a woman’s water breaks but her labor fails to start or progress. When this happens, if the baby is not delivered in a certain amount of time, there is a risk of developing an infection, which can put both her and the baby in danger.

Women that have high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes, low levels of amniotic fluid, a uterus infection or a baby that is too big for vaginal delivery may be candidates for labor induction. Babies who are past their due date may also be induced. Each of the above conditions, if going on too long, may put mom and her baby at risk, so when they occur doctors will generally choose to induce labor.

How is labor induced?

When labor is induced, a woman is given special medications to jumpstart the process. This is typically only done when a woman is going to give birth vaginally. There is no need to induce labor before a cesarean section, though it sometimes happens if the cesarean section is an emergency one and delivery was induced prior to the doctor deciding that a surgical delivery was necessary.

When inducing labor, a doctor has a number of options available. He or she may insert a special medication into the vagina which jumpstarts the labor process. The doctor might manually break the soon-to-be mom’s water. Pitocin, which is a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone, Oxytocin, may also be administered. This helps cause contractions so that labor begins.  

How fast does delivery occur after labor induction?

There is the mistaken belief that once labor is induced, the birthing process will proceed quickly. This isn’t always the case. A woman may be induced and not give birth until 3 days later. She will go through labor all of that time, but she may not deliver the baby right away.

The speed at which a woman gives birth after being induced depends on a number of factors. Much of it will depend on whether or not the baby is ready to be delivered. If, however, the labor fails to progress, the doctor may be forced to perform a cesarean section.

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